Infectious Disease

Major: Infectious Disease
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Semester
Total Credit Hours: 36.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.0508
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 19-1022; 19-1029

About the Program

Mission Statement

The Master of Science in Infectious Disease program, offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and by the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID), provides graduate-level training in the area of infectious disease. Classroom activities, online learning, and research experiences cover fundamentals of molecular biology, cell biology, and immunology, as well as basic, translational, and clinical aspects of diseases caused by important infectious pathogens, including HIV, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), malarial parasites, influenza virus, and Zika virus. Elective courses offer highly focused studies of topics relevant to infectious disease, including: vaccines and vaccine development; viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal pathogens; emerging pathogens; principles of biocontainment; and experimental therapeutics.

The program is designed to prepare students for careers in infectious disease in government, industry, and academic environments. The program is ideally suited for enhancing the scientific credentials of recent college graduates, early career scientists, premedical students, industrial employees, and clinical laboratory technicians.

Curriculum

The non-thesis program includes four semesters (two academic years) of required and elective graduate courses, as well as a comprehensive research internship to be completed during the course of the training program. Although most students will complete the program in two years, some may opt to enroll on a part-time basis, taking up to four years to complete the degree program. Elective courses available to students in the program provide knowledge and expertise in areas relevant to infectious disease research, such as emerging infectious diseases, vaccines and vaccine development, biotechniques and laboratory research, and principles of biocontainment. The successful completion of the degree will be determined by grades obtained in the graduate courses, participation in seminars and journal clubs, and performance in the research component. A minimum of 36.0 credits is required to graduate, with at least 6.0 of those earned as research credits.

Learning Options

Classes can be attended at the Center City and Queen Lane campuses of the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. State-of-the-art video conferencing provides real-time interactive learning at these locations. Technology can also be used for distance learning and joint sessions outside normal class times. Most classes are held in the late afternoon/early evening to facilitate participation of working professionals. Many of the required and elective courses are offered both live and online, providing the student the flexibility to choose a mix of traditional, face-to-face courses and online courses. The goal is to provide maximum scheduling flexibility.

Research Component

An important element of the Program is the Research Internship in Infectious Disease. The internship encompasses one of three specific areas of research in the field of infectious disease:

  • basic discovery involving infectious bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic pathogens that cause human disease;
  • translational research focused on the development of new approaches to diagnose, prevent, or treat infectious diseases; and
  • clinical infectious disease research focused on infectious diseases in humans.

Most students choose to engage in a hands-on research internship consisting of a 12-week research program in a laboratory at Drexel University, another academic institution, or at a biotechnology or biopharmaceutical company. Distance students can make arrangements with academic or industrial institutions in their home regions rather than in the Greater Philadelphia region. Alternatively, traditional and online students may choose to engage in independent research projects with the approval and supervision of the Program Director.

Program Contact Information

For more detailed information about the curriculum and program goals, please contact:

Fred Krebs, Ph.D. (Director)
Email: fred.krebs@drexelmed.edu

Visit the Master of Science in Infectious Disease program website for more detailed information. For additional information regarding application deadlines, the online application process, and specific requirements for applying to the College of Medicine, visit Drexel University's Graduate Admissions site.

Admission Requirements

For acceptance into the Master of Science in Infectious Disease program, the applicant must have completed a four-year biology or chemistry-related BA or BS degree program with undergraduate coursework in biology, microbiology, immunology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, and/or other related subjects. Although a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 is strongly desired, an applicant with a lower cumulative GPA will be considered if other strengths are apparent in the application.

To be considered for acceptance, an applicant must provide the following as part of a complete online application for admission:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A current curriculum vitae (cv) or resume
  • References from at least three instructors or professionals

Although standardized test scores are not required for admission, official copies of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) will be considered if submitted as part of the application.

International applicants (non-United States citizens) must meet the same requirements for admission as students from the United States. In addition to the above requirements, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language by submitting an acceptable score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Acceptance into the program will be decided by considering the sum of the applicant’s undergraduate curriculum, cumulative GPA, GRE/MCAT scores, recommendation letters, and relevant research or professional experiences.

Visit the Master of Science in Infectious Disease program website for more detailed information. For additional information regarding application deadlines, the online application process, and specific requirements for applying to the College of Medicine, visit Drexel University's Graduate Admissions site.

Degree Requirements

Courses with an MIIM or IDPT designation are offered by the Drexel University College of Medicine and are taught on a semester schedule (fall and spring).  These courses are available in a traditional (face-to-face), hybrid, and/or online formats. Some of these traditional courses and hybrid courses are offered as evening classes at either the Center City Campus or the Queen Lane Campus.

At least 36.0 credits are required to complete the program and earn a Master's Degree in Infectious Disease.

Required Courses
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
MIIM 527SImmunology, Immunopathology and Infectious Diseases3.0
MIIM 530SFundamentals of Molecular Medicine I3.0
MIIM 531SFundamentals of Molecular Medicine II2.0
MIIM 532SFundamentals of Molecular Medicine III2.0
MIIM 533SMolecular Medicine Journal Club II1.0
MIIM 545SIntroduction to Infectious Diseases4.0
MIIM 534SMolecular Medicine Journal Club I1.0
MIIM 606SMicrobiology and Immunology Seminar1.0
MIIM 652SResearch Internship in Infectious Disease6.0
MIIM 653SClinical Correlations in Infectious Disease3.0
Electives6.0-15.0
Biotechniques I
Biotechniques II
Molecular Virology
Vaccines and Vaccine Development
Principles of Biocontainment
Animal Models in Biotechnology
Viruses and Viral Infections
Bacteria and Bacterial Infections
Mycology and Fungal Infections
Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases
Molec. Mech. Of Micro. Path
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Experimental Therapeutics
Biotechniques and Laboratory Research I
Biotechniques and Laboratory Research II
Total Credits36.0-45.0

Program Goals

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Infectious Disease Program, students will have achieved the following program-level goals:

  1. Develop broad core knowledge in the biological sciences.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in fundamental concepts in molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in these areas as they are described and applied in the primary scientific literature.
  2. Develop a working knowledge of infectious disease pathogens and the diseases that they cause.
    • Demonstrate basic science knowledge of pathogens that cause human disease in the fields of virology, parasitology, bacteriology, mycology, and others.
    • Identify diseases caused by these pathogens and the mechanisms of pathogenesis.
    • Be able to critically analyze and evaluate publications in the primary literature that describe basic, translational, and clinical infectious disease research.
  3. Develop skills in analytical and critical thinking.
    • Develop proficiency in critical analyses of ideas and concepts related to infectious disease research documented in the primary literature.
    • Use critical thinking skills in collegial presentations and discussions of research focused on infectious diseases and the pathogens that cause them.
  4. Develop skills in basic, translational, or clinical research.
    • Develop new laboratory skills or enhance pre-existing skills.
    • Be proficient in collecting information and data from electronic source material and databases.
    • Apply analytical skills and critical thinking to data analyses.
  5. Develop professional ethics necessary for the responsible conduct of research.
    • Be able to identify and evaluate professional ethical dilemmas, and discuss appropriate resolutions.
    • Apply professional ethical standards such as appropriate attribution of ideas, good recordkeeping, and truthful presentation of data/facts and conclusions.
  6. Develop communication and leadership skills.
    • Be proficient at developing oral and/or written comprehensive reports, presenting facts, analysis, and conclusions.
    • Be proficient at using appropriate technologies for communication.
    • Be able to interact and work effectively with others in work settings involving cultural and demographic diversity.
  7. Develop other soft skills (e.g. collaboration, problem solving, career planning, networking) that facilitate career advancement and promotion.
    • Develop a working knowledge of career opportunities in the desired field.
    • Effectively present a professional profile of oneself.
    • Be proficient at time and task management.
    • Be able to work effectively in collaborative and team-driven settings.
    • Begin the development of problem-solving skills to be used in the workplace.
    • Begin to establish a professional network.

Drexel Student Learning Priorities (DSLPs)

In the course of meeting these program-level goals, students will have also made progress in all of the Drexel Student Learning Priorities (DSLPs) to help them build their futures:

Core Intellectual and Practical Skills

  • Communication
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Information literacy
  • Self-directed learning
  • Technology use

Experiential and Applied Learning

  • Global competence
  • Leadership
  • Professional practice
  • Research, scholarship, and creative expression
  • Responsible citizenship
 
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